Interview: Rosie Cavaliero, Prey

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Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 16.10.05Prey was one of last year’s big hits, not least because a format that was once deemed outdated and instead came across as fresh and innovative. The chase thriller starred Rosie Caveliero and John Simm, and Cavaliero in particular – as DS Susan Reinhart – was excellent. She’s back in this second series, chasing down another man (and woman) on the run. We got hold of an interview with Rosie, so have a read after the jump.

The Killing Times: Following the broadcast of the first series what feedback did you receive?
Rosie Cavaliero: It was brilliant. Really, really good. I couldn’t have had better feedback. The funny thing was, a lot of people didn’t initally like my character, but they liked her by the end. After the first episode they’d say ‘I  don’t  really like her, she’s horrible, she’s not very good at her job, she’s not very sympathetic’, which I thought was great. It’s nice to play someone who’s not particularly liked. But by the end of the series they’d all grown to like her and were really rooting   for her. So that was an interesting reaction. I think the audience enjoyed Prey because it was quite different to what they’d seen before; the way it looked, the pace, not over explaining things. It was full of suspense and really kept them   guessing. I think lots of people found Susan quite refreshing as a character on screen because it was nice to see someone being a bit more realistic and normal looking.
TKT: A journalist described described Prey as being ‘grittily British with compulsive  appeal’. Would you agree with that?

RC: Yeah, I would. The series was different and the team behind it didn’t go for the obvious glamour woman when casting Susan. I think the collaboration Prey its edge and pace. Much like this series and the partnership between our director, Lewis Arnold, and Chris.
TKT:  Has Prey elevated your profile?  
RC: It was nice for me to be in a drama, which lots of people watched because I normally do shows that have smaller audiences and have a niche market. I’ve definitely had more straight work offers without having to audition, which has been nice. I think I got the role of Peggy Hodgson in the Sky drama, The Enfield Haunting, off the back of Prey so it’s certainly helped.
TKT: Creator and writer, Chris Lunt, had said Prey was a self‐contained mini series. Were you surprised when it was recommissioned? 
RC: I was really surprised and excited. I didn’t think they would do it again with me and not John Simm. A role like Susan Reinhardt only comes along once in a lifetime so you’ve got to seize the good parts when you get offered them and I loved playing her; it’s such a great role.
TKT: We’ve learnt DS Susan Reinhardt is a complex character. Where do we meet her in this series?  
RC: Susan’s moved on a bit. In terms of emotionally she’s not obsessing about her ex. She’s kind of over him and in a new relationship with a guy called Phil (Kieran  O’Brien). She’s trying to have a go at maintaining a normal conventional relationship but at the same time she’s a workaholic and when her job gets interesting that completely takes all of her focus. Susan is also considering a career  change. She loves her work but feels she can’t get any further with it so is contemplating going into police teaching. Her peer in the first series, Ashley Chan (Ben  Wong), got promoted and she didn’t so there’s a feeling she’s not quite on track to be going where she should be with her career. There’s also probably a side to Susan that wants to run from the relationship with Phil, as she doesn’t know what she wants. She’s a bit of a commitment phobe and at a crossroads so doesn’t really know what to do. Even though she’s in a relationship she’s not entirely sure it’s right for her.
TKT:  Susan’s been paired to work with DC Richard Iddon, played by Nathan Stewart-­Jarrett. Tell us  about  their  dynamics?
RC: Iddon is young and ambitious and Susan’s older and quite jaded! She  finds him quite annoying because he’s super keen, and in being super keen he makes mistakes so she treats him like a child. She’s really bossy, always pulling him down and at times pretty vile, though on a couple of occasions he does deserve it because he’s a bit impulsive. It’s quite a funny dynamic and as the series unfolds they do develop a slightly closer relationship. There’s a sense Iddon admires and likes Susan as a colleague. He can handle and stand up to her. He dares to say things others probably wouldn’t because he’s quite self-confident and believes in his own ability.
TKT:  What do we know about this year’s Prey?    
DC: Reinhardt and Iddon don’t really know much other than a female prisoner, Jules Hope (MyAnna Buring), has escaped from hospital. Prison Officer, David Murdoch (Philip Glenister) who was with her at the time, isn’t accounted for either so, Reinhardt  and Iddon are trying to piece together what little information they can to track them down.
TKT: What do you think differentiates Susan from the other female detectives on screen?    
RC: She’s pretty fallible and she makes mistakes. There’s an overall low-key look and feel about Susan. She’s underplayed in every sense. There’s not a lot of make up or hairstyling and her clothes aren’t particularly glamorous. I think she’s quite funny and witty in her own grumpy way!”

Prey: Wednesday 9th December, 9pm, ITV

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